How About a Virtual Trip to the Holy Land? Take an Eye-Opening Tour Guided by Kathie Lee Gifford and Rabbi Jason Sobel…

Friends!  Any of you have the Holy Land on your bucket list?  For a lovely overview plus eye-opening Biblical truths, grab a copy of Kathie Lee Gifford’s newest book, The Road, the Rock, and the Rabbi:  My Journey into the Heart of Scriptural Faith and the Land Where It All Began. You’ll want to go, like yesterday! 

Your toes may get a tad stepped on from the Introduction where Kathie Lee tells on herself.  She shares that the Lord gently reminded her to put Him first, “As you begin your day, so goes your day.”

She says, “Many of us have become so complacent, spoiled, and comfortable that we don’t realize we are miserable.”  Look at Isaiah 55:2,

Kathie Lee adds, “I believe this is how our faith grows stale, our joy diminishes, and our passion for God runs dry…we will all die spiritually if we stop feeding on His Word!”

We readers are taken to twenty-nine different places in the Holy Land.  There are beautiful pictures of these places in the middle of the book.  Kathie Lee shares what she learned at each of these places, and in most of the chapters, Rabbi Sobel further expounds on the significance of these locations and what’s important from Scripture.

You’ll discover firsthand why Kathie Lee calls the Bible a treasure map. Rabbi Sobel shows us from “the first letter to the last, the Bible points to Jesus.” You’ll also be highly amused at her trip where her husband, Frank, accompanied her.  Their beginning was so rough, everyone wanted to call it quits, including Frank who wanted to catch the next flight out! Don’t miss this!

Since there are twenty-nine chapters, each of which are short, I’d recommend you read this book as a devotional, reading one chapter per day.  Each is a lesson, in and of itself.  If you didn’t have the Holy Land on your bucket list earlier, you will now!

One of many fascinating discoveries can be found in Chapter 18, on the Mount of Olives. We begin by reading Luke 19:37-38,

Kathie Lee, Frank, and the rest of their tour group were instructed to sit on a stone wall, facing south, with their backs to a very brushy area. Ray, their tour guide, proceeded to direct their attention to the overgrown bushes.

From his wallet, he pulled out a laminated card to pass around.  On it was a teeny tiny speck.  Ray explained, “This is a mustard seed, among the smallest seeds in all of the botanical world. It’s smaller than a speck of pepper.”

Next, the group was told to look back at the overgrown bushes. He said, “That is the most feared plant in all of Israel, the mustard plant. It’s feared because once it takes root it can’t be destroyed. You can try to burn it out, stomp it out, tear it out, but eventually it takes over everything in its way.”

Holding his Bible in the air, Ray paralleled the mustard seed to the Kingdom of God. He said, “Once it gets planted, nothing can stop it!” Don’t miss the rest of this chapter as Kathie Lee shows us exactly where Jesus would have been teaching because the mustard plant, Herodium, and the Dead Sea are all visible from the point where they were sitting.

Another treat in the book is where we get to hear from Kathie Lee’s brother, Reverend David Epstein in Chapter Twenty-Two. Who knew he pastors a church in Manhattan on 57th Street, Calvary Baptist Church? He gifts us with two different teachings.

Our in-home Bible study group began studying this book via the study guide and dvd teachings (which are separate from the book) the first week of November.  Kathie Lee and Rabbi Sobel are both in the videos.

Max Lucado says Kathie Lee, “escorts the reader to the land of the Savior, taking us on a heart-deepening journey of hope.”

Franklin Graham suggests, “Fix your heart on the Rock of salvation and walk the Road that leads to redemption with the Rabbi—the teacher who gives eternal life to those who seek Him.”

The end of the book includes Kathie Lee’s experience during Frank’s unexpected death. You’ll need a Kleenex to get thru’ this beautiful chapter. Also closing out the book are nineteen inspirational  testimonials of some who took this same trip, including Cody Gifford, Kathie Lee and Frank’s son. He shares a fun anecdote too!

My same  Tuesday group just finished Lysa TerKeurst’s study, Finding I Am:  How Jesus Fully Satisfies the Cry of Your Heart, also filmed in Israel, prior to beginning Kathie Lee’s study.  Your Bible study group can virtually visit the Holy Land for several weeks if you study both of these!

Blessings for a lovely November and Thanksgiving season.

‘Til next time!

Advertisements

4 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews

Fab New Novel for November! A Poppy in Remembrance by Michelle Ule

Friends! Great news! Michelle Ule’s newest book releases November 1st. You won’t want to miss the chance to pour over the delightful pages of A Poppy in Remembrance.

You may recall her previous book, which is non-fiction, Mrs. Oswald Chambers: The Woman behind the World’s Bestselling Devotional. It was a wonderful discovery, learning more about Oswald Chambers, his ministry, his writings, and his family and especially his wife, Biddy who was the one that compiled My Utmost for His Highest from his sermons.

I was able to find my Mother’s copy of Oswald’s best-selling devotional,  My Utmost for His Highest. To this day, it is still the single best-selling devotional of all times. It was first published in 1935! You won’t read it the same after getting to know Oswald, thanks to Michelle.

All this to say I was beyond elated to learn A Poppy in Remembrance presents Biddy and Oswald Chambers, who blissfully cross paths with the novel’s main character, Claire Meacham. I felt as if celebrities appeared right in front of me when Claire got to meet Oswald and Biddy.

Set during World War I, Claire’s father, Jock, is a journalist and editor from a Boston newspaper with its syndicate in London. He totes his wife, Anne, and daughter, Claire, with him where they stay in Anne’s sister’s house.

Engaging scenarios, filled with entertaining conversation, ensue building the plot as we turn each page. Claire’s dream of being a reporter in a mostly all-male world comes to fruition a wee bit while they’re in London. Her father allows her to use her stenographer skills to help him with numerous war-related stories. Her two male co-workers each fall for her in their own way.

You’ll enjoy watching Claire juggle Jim and Nigel, as she becomes secretly engaged to one of them (not telling!). Claire struggles, wondering whether she’s doing the right thing or not. Her newfound faith makes these decisions that much tougher.

Her parents attend church, but believe faith is a personal matter, not to be discussed. Claire secretly attends Oswald and Biddy’s prayer meetings every Monday morning with Jim while in London. She’s drawn to both of the Chambers, even receiving one on one counsel from each of them.

Many lessons are evident in A Poppy of Remembrance thanks to Michelle’s strong faith and love for Bible study. Watching Biddy and Oswald’s interaction with Claire and others demonstrates how we as believers can learn how to handle seekers.

Convicted to be truthful with her parents, Claire tells them about going to the prayer meetings. Chalking it up to being quacks, Claire’s father dismisses Oswald.

Oh, but wait just a minute…As their beloved friends and relatives go off to fight in the war, an opportunity to help with the YMCA materializes in Egypt, first causing Oswald to go. Jock up and gets transferred to Cairo for a journalism opportunity. Zeitoun, nearby, is where Oswald preaches to the ANZAC solders. (Soldiers from the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps)

Will Anne and Claire follow? What about Biddy? Will they all cross paths again? Jim, one of Claire’s suitors and a mentor to her in her faith, also goes to help with the YMCA. Nigel enlists. The plot doesn’t just thicken, it quadruples…

These are some of many tidbits which will delight us readers. Michelle’s creative writing transports us right along with Claire, her family, OC, Biddy, and their little daughter, Kathleen.

How will they survive Oswald’s early death? Will cousin Peter survive the war? Who will Claire choose as her mate? Will her parents come to faith? How will they be affected once the war ends? Ah, my friend, run don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab A Poppy in Remembrance. (It launches November 1st to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War I.)

Huge thanks go to Michelle who delivered this engaging novel. If you’ve not read Mrs. Oswald Chambers yet, grab it too. It’s filled with more details to encourage and bless us all and don’t miss Michelle’s website where she offers numerous resources and fascinating articles you don’t want to miss.

‘Til next time!

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Please Join Us Monday the 22nd for a Hair-raising Discussion of The House on Foster Hill!

Friends! Run and fetch our book for this month’s book club meeting ASAP! You’ll be able to finish it quickly. Be sure you have all the lights on as it will have you bug-eyed and a little on edge… (We’re meeting Monday the 22nd from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Invite your friends to join you! We’ll meet in the sanctuary of Middletown United Methodist Church. Address at the end of this post.)

The book had me from its cover:

Author Jaime Jo Wright created quite a page-turner, while jumping back and forth between two women separated by a century in the  very same house. Sounds confusing, but Jamie guides us readers along beautifully and at a fast pace.

It’s a huge deal Jamie Jo’s debut novel is nominated in two categories for the very coveted Christy Award: First Novel and Mystery/Suspense/ Thriller.

I’m only a hundred pages in, so I’m going to let reviewer Barbara Derse tease you for a moment :

“In her debut novel, Author Jamie Jo Wright has delivered a compelling tale of murder and mystery through a time split-story line connected by an old abandoned house, the lives it touched, and the long protected secrets it hold. Gripping suspense, multiple plot twists, hair-raising terror and well developed characters travel across the pages.

I found myself riveted by Kaine Prescott’s and Ivy Thorpe’s lives as they converged at The House on Foster Hill. Wright has woven a dual story so intricately entwined it took me to the end of the book to unravel and reveal the truth.

And, it was a surprise…not what I was expecting at all. The seamless transition from one era to the other kept the smooth rhythm of the story flowing and held me captive with each turn of the page to the very end.Though the story in both eras has a dark  and ominous feel to it, it also offers light and life. Intertwined with the frightening evil that overshadows the house, a legacy of hope rises and shines through the strong women who refuse to let the house’s secret ruin their lives or force them to live in fear; women who look to an eternal future.

Wright does an exceptional job weaving faith into everyday moments in a natural, unforced way…as it should be. Talk of God’s love and His promises written in scripture were flawlessly laid within casual conversation and deep reflections by the characters.

Wright has crafted a well written debut and is an author to watch in the coming years. I look forward to more from her.”

And, good news for us, Jaime Jo has written more…

(releasing January 22nd, available for ore-order.)

To find out more about Jamie Jo Wright, visit her website:  www.jaimewrightbooks.com

Grab some friends and join us in the sanctuary of Middletown United Methodist Church, Monday night, October 22nd, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.  The more the merrier!

Please RSVP to Nancy Tinnell at (502) 245-8839.

11902 Old Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY 40243 http://www.middletownumc.org

See you next Monday!

‘Til next time…

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Clubs

How About a Staycation Where You Get to Travel Across 4 Continents? (with help from Tsh Oxenreider)

Friends!  Who in their right mind would tote THREE young children across FOUR continents, with her husband and FIVE backpacks over NINE months??? Uh, that would be Tsh Oxenreider.  Now that I’ve read her book, I feel as if I had the fabulous opportunity to accompany her from my little chair right here on our porch.

The book?  At Home in the World:  Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe.

Having enjoyed reading another one of Tsh’s books (Notes from a Blue Bike), when I discovered this one, I had to grab it.  Her little family accomplished this traveling while “world-schooling” their kids.  Their experiences are eye-opening and jaw dropping all at once. (Small detail:  their children were 8, 6, and 4 at the time.  Piece of cake, right?)

One minute you find yourself bug-eyed, the next minute you’re howling laughing. Upon some hair-raising discoveries you’ll find yourself saying, “Wow, I’m glad they did this!  Not sure I’d be so brave.” (i.e. finding a tarantula in your shower or monkeys stealing a sandal!)

We readers get to see firsthand how travel shapes and transforms this precious family of five. Chris Guillebeau said, “Tsh is a remarkable example of how to balance the rooted stability of family with the winged adventure of wanderlust.”

Toting only backpacks, the Oxenreider family hops a plane bound for China where they land twenty-nine hours later.  Upon arrival, they snap “first day of school” pics in Beijing, their three children’s blond hair fascinating the Asians. You’ll get to go on more than one tuk-tuk ride and gag over some prepackaged chicken feet in a market.

On to Hong Kong…and then Thailand where Tsh seeks out some spiritual direction.  I love her honesty and hunger to revive her faith. Amazingly, and surely God-orchestrated, Tsh is connected with a woman by the name of Nora, a spiritual director, who she meets with a number of times since they’d be in Thailand for two months.

Right away, Nora suggests the below phrase:

Precious pearls of faith are dotted throughout, many of which are revelations. God’s omnipresence will warm your soul.

The family flies to southern Thailand, strategizing to create an endless summer.  A ninety-degree Thanksgiving is what they got. On to Singapore, where it’s also ninety degrees, we learn it’s always ninety degrees there.

And did you know the Changi Airport is the best airport in the world? “Free movie theaters, swimming pools, art stations, video game portals, nature paths in outdoor gardens, world-class playgrounds, a butterfly sanctuary, and sleeping rooms.” Who needs Disney?!

After a brief visit, the Oxenreider fam is off to Australia and it’s Christmastime. They travel from Sydney, to Brisbane, to Cairns. We learn quickly Australia is “one of the world’s most expensive countries.” Interestingly, both Tsh and her husband, Kyle, have jobs where they can work from anywhere.

A huge aha moment occurred further into the chapter on Australia.  I’ve always been a fan of koala bears, thinking Qantas Airlines surely is the bomb.  I’d never realized the country is home to “5,700 different animal species, 80 percent found nowhere else in the world…Australia has more things that will kill you than anywhere else on the plant. Ten of the worlds’ deadliest snakes live here, and five of the most lethal creatures in the world reside in the northeast state of Queensland.” Packin’ your bags?

Tsh’s vivid writing brings each new element of each country to life. A favorite quote from their visit to Australia is, “The land is special here; a dance of God’s divinity with dirt. We are here to witness it.”

Red Rocks, Katajuda, Outback, Australia

John, their hiking guide, warns the children not to touch a certain plant with side effects you don’t want to read about, much less subject your children to. I’d have bailed.  You don’t want to miss this part.

Nor do you want to miss their snorkeling adventure at the Great Barrier Reef, making you want to jump in with them, even if you have to stuff yourself into a wet suit. Tsh shares, “The sky and water are monochromatic. It is a canvas of blue, textured by shadowy-small waves.”

Onward to New Zealand…from Christchurch to Queenstown. The plot thickens, when because of expenses, their next half of the visit will be spent in….get ready:  a campervan in non-stop rain. (I’d have had to stop and buy duct tape to cover my mouth.)

Another nugget we should all copy is a term Tsh teaches us upon their return to Australia where they get to housesit for friends. This friend’s parents pick them up at the airport, some fifty miles from the outskirts of Sidney where they’d be staying.  They come in not one, but two cars.  Commenting on the cost of gas, Tsh insists they at least pay them something.  But no, Pete and Bez won’t hear of it.

They go on to explain about “The Westbrook Effect” which came from an experience they had with a man named Westbrook.  Every time they came to visit, he’d pull out all the stops, going above and beyond, treating them like royalty.  They decided from then on that anytime they had guests they’d do the same. Likewise Tsh and Kyle said they’d be doing it too. Their family of five celebrates Christmas, and it’s on to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka is a “pear-shaped island southeast of India.”  What transpires here is my favorite part of the journey.  (Remember the tarantula and the monkeys?  Do NOT miss this chapter!) Also keep in mind that “cobras are as plentiful as Texas squirrels.” How much sleep would you get? (You’ll also discover incredible facts about tea in Sri Lanka and coffee in Ethiopia.)

Our own Kentucky author, Wendell Berry, introduces Part Four. It includes Uganda, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Morocco.

Part Five takes us to France, Italy, Croatia, Kosovo (where Tsh and Kyle met), Turkey (where they lived with two of their three children for some time), Germany, and England. Since Europe has always been Tsh’s favorite place to visit, the stops in each of these countries are extra special, including the places where they stay, one of which is an olive oil mill!

You can easily picture the countryside in these petite villages.  Breathtaking. At one point Tsh reveals, “Passport stamps became icons for gathered wisdom.

Every single chapter (there are twenty-two!) is a wealth of information, entertaining and educating the reader who I presume will add some of these stops to their own bucket list.

Now you know what I’m going to say! Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and snag a copy of At Home in the World:  Reflections on Belonging While Wandering the Globe. See where your definition of home is after reading this.

Bonus: Don’t miss Tsh’s blog:  The Art of Simple www.theartofsimple.net

‘Til next time!

 

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews

Calling All Control Freaks: I’ve got an Rx for ya… (with help from Jennifer Dukes Lee) Plus, Don’t forget Ann Gabhart is coming next week to Book Club!

Friends!  This Tuesday, 9/18, a new book hits bookstores and bookshelves everywhere.  It’s an invaluable resource:  I call it my “current traveling handbook.” You’ll tote it with you to check and recheck, believe me.

The book?  It’s All Under Control:  A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible by Jennifer Dukes Lee.

I first met Jennifer at a She Speaks Conference in Charlotte, NC in July of 2017.  Of all the class offerings, Jennifer’s jumped out at me: “How a small-time blogger can get a book published.”  I was there with my second draft of my book, praying to take as many classes and meet as many mentors as humanly possible.

I found Jennifer to be sincere, honest, funny, and tremendously encouraging.  She also gave us her email address should we have further questions, saying, “I have soooo been there!  Don’t despair!  God’s got this!” I exited the class a few inches taller.

Fast forward to this year and I’ve been blessed to be on the Launch Team for this book.  I’ve highlighted and dog-eared many a page, also tagging numerous resources in the back of the book.

Thanks to Jennifer’s confessions of things I think but wouldn’t utter, take-home value is at a premium.  Three of many favorite chapters include:

1 – Her prayer to the Holy Spirit (Chapter 8 – “Clueless: What to do when God’s To-Do List Makes Zero Sense) is not to be missed!

2 – Her three important words we must force ourselves to use:  “I need help!” (Chapter 10), not to mention discovering a killer great quote:

“Asking for help requires a heart-unzipped intimacy with God, who saw your need in the first place.” and

3 – Getting the chance to learn if you’re a “Driver,” a “Devoter,” or a “Darling,” (Chapter 4 – “Superpowers:  Uncovering Your Strengths, Your Kryptonite, and That Line We All Tend to Cross), plus you’ll find a much more detailed explanation in the back of the book.

Each chapter ends with a “Crack the Control Code” section, giving you concrete, helpful solutions to relinquish that control we think we have, but never really had.  Anyone? (I also loved the chapters on waiting and rest, but was determined to only give you three.  Smile.)

Three additional resources in the back of the book can be used over and over. I’m beyond certain you and I will do exactly that:

1 – The Control Code Continuum.  I pray you won’t find yourself in the Danger Zone! (Can’t get the song  Highway to the Danger Zone outta my head.  Thanks so very much, Tom Cruise.) Confession:  I discovered I’ve been in an Unhealthy Zone, only one notch up from the Danger Zone.  Good news:  Jennifer offers a manageable, doable “response” to getteth thee outteth of that zone!

2 – The Decision Tree – “Should I hang on or let go?” This is a great filtering tool which will quickly allow you to stop spinning in circles.

3 – Do, Delegate, or Dismiss – “Task of _____________.”

I’m telling you, I wish I’d had this book thirty-plus years ago when we began raising our boys.  If you have young moms in your life, march out immediately and grab a copy for them!  They will love you for this! (My daughters-in-love will be getting this book in their stockings.  Shhhhh, don’t tell.)

Now you know what I’m going to say, “RUN, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab this book for yourself and for any of your friends you know could benefit from this book!’’

Finally, don’t forget to join us and bring a boatload of your friends, if you’re anywhere near Louisville, KY, next Monday Night, September 24th, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. for Branches Book Club at Middletown United Methodist Church.  Author Ann Gabhart is coming and will be talking about These Healing Hills and we’ll also get to hear about her newest novel, River to Redemption. Click here for additional information. 

‘Til next time!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Book Reviews

Do You Believe in Miracles? If you don’t, this book could change your mind…. (Thanks to Lee Strobel’s The Case for Miracles)

Friends!  Calling all guys and gals to hear snippets from a mind-blowing book on miracles.  Forever siding with Doubting Thomas, yet a huge fan of Lee Strobel, I grabbed his newest book, The Case for Miracles:  A Journalist Investigates Evidence for the Supernatural.

Wow.  Just wow. While I could easily end this post right here and say, “Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and snag this book,” I wouldn’t dare do that to you without sharing a couple of quotes to show you why you must read this book.

It’s obvious from the first page that Lee’s background in journalism causes us readers to feel like we’re on this exploration of miracles right beside him in his passenger’s seat.

Stellar questions sprinkled throughout, Lee poses,

Lee answers these and many more questions in his book. He begins by defining what exactly a miracle is:

Lee proceeds to cross-examine experts, mining for answers.  He bravely begins by interviewing “the most famous doubter in the country—Dr. Michael Shermer, founder and editor of Skeptic magazine.” This is found in Part One:  The Case Against Miracles.

Lee admits Shermer’s office is the last place he normally would’ve landed, however in his days of being an atheist, it would’ve been a place he’d have enjoyed.  I viewed it as walking into a potential lion’s den. But we readers can perch overlooking Lee’s shoulder and be ever so grateful he’s driving the interview.

Lee told Shermer upfront he wasn’t there to debate him. I confess I wanted Lee to put Shermer in his place, but hang on, we get some answers further into the book. At one point, Shermer debunks another theory of a research study on prayer, conducted at Harvard.  I was upset over the findings, but later relieved at what another expert revealed about it.  Oh, and you can guess, you must read the book to find out. Bada bing.

My favorite part is found in Part Two:  The Case for Miracles.  It’s my favorite because it holds a fantastic discovery of a real-live genius living a mere seventy-nine miles from my desk, at Asbury Theological Seminary, in Wilmore, Kentucky.  Wilmore is a hop, skip, and a jump from my hometown of Lexington, Kentucky.

In Part Two, we get to meet this proficient professor and author, Dr. Craig Keener, who Lee interviews extensively. I was stunned he’s been at Asbury all this time.  Reading about his volumes of books will blow you off your rocker.

Lee tweeted a picture of them together quipping, “Great time interviewing Craig Keener for a project. While we chatted, he wrote three new books.”

Keener was also an atheist.  His come-to-faith story is beautiful.  Lee obviously resonates with him. He and Lee teach us the difference between actual miracles and apparent miracles. (Chapter 5 – don’t miss it!) We also get a peek into numerous documented miracles.

In Part 3 on Science, Dreams, and Visions, you’ll meet Dr. Candy Gunther Brown who can be found at Indiana University in Bloomington.  Her credentials are off the charts as well. She teaches us wonderful lessons about intercessory prayer.

Next up, Missionary Tom Doyle shares beautiful, inspiring real-life stories. Tom and his wife, JoAnn work with Muslims.  He reveals what happened to him shortly after 9/11, “That was the day that God started to create space in my heart for Muslims. It comes down to this:  Are we able to see through Jesus’ eyes and not our own? He filters out all the news and prejudice. Once you have His eyes, you see people for who they are—made in His image.”

The most difficult to grasp information comes from Dr. Michael G. Strauss and J. Warner Wallace, MTS, in Part 4, The Most Spectacular Miracles. They teach on the Miracle of Creation and the Resurrection.  You may wish to have a bowl of oatmeal or something packed with protein to get your brain working on over-time in order to grasp how they answer Lee’s questions. (I’m not kidding.)

Moving forward while covering all bases, Lee surprisingly shares what to do when miracles do not happen.  I didn’t realize his wife, Leslie, has chronic fibromyalgia. They’ve prayed for a cure, and still no answer.  Lee openly and honestly reveals their struggles.

We also get to meet Douglas R. Groothuis, PhD. He, too, has a wife who suffers. She has progressive aphasia.  His honest memoir, Walking Through Twilight is a masterpiece according to Lee.

Their thoughts on suffering are full of hope as well as excellent reminders of why we must live with an eternal perspective.  Simultaneously, you’ll be struck with how very blessed we are in spite of our circumstances.

Finally, don’t miss my new favorite phrase Dr. Groothuis gifts us with:  spiritual sanity.  He says,

“When I’m angry with God, when I’m distressed and anguished and seething at my circumstances, I think of Christ hanging on the cross for me.  This brings me back to spiritual sanity. He endured the torture of the crucifixion out of his love for me. He didn’t have to do that.  He chose to. So he doesn’t just sympathize with us in our suffering; he empathizes with us. Ultimately I find comfort in that.” (emphasis mine)

Lee will ask you to come to your own conclusion about miracles at the end of the book.  I’d be curious to hear from you when you get there.  I’m so very thankful Lee took on this project, conducted extensive surveys, and interviewed so many experts. What a faith builder!

Now I can say this, “Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and snag this book!”

You’re welcome.

‘Til next time!

Comments Off on Do You Believe in Miracles? If you don’t, this book could change your mind…. (Thanks to Lee Strobel’s The Case for Miracles)

Filed under Book Reviews

Why We Must Consider the Legacy We’re Leaving… (With help from the Green girls of Hobby Lobby)

Friends!  Just wait ‘til you hear about this life-changing, must-read book…

It’s written by Jackie Green and her daughter, Lauren Green McAfee. (Jackie’s husband, Steve, runs Hobby Lobby and their stories woven throughout are incredibly fascinating.) The book is called Only One Life:  How a Woman’s Every Day Shapes an Eternal Legacy.

I heard the authors interviewed on the Eric Metaxas show recently (www.metaxastalk.com ) and promptly ordered the book. What intrigued me is the book’s format.  Each chapter focuses on an attribute of what makes a good legacy:

What’s super cool is how the girls introduce you to a Biblical character, a historical character, and a modern-day character for you to meet and see how their lives exemplify these attributes in each chapter.  Some I was familiar with, while others were lovely discoveries.

For example, Winston Churchill’s nanny, Elizabeth Anne Everest, was a very strong Christian and had a huge influence on him, teaching him to memorize Scripture, giving him a personal faith.

Let this soak in for a minute:

“It can be argued that because of her, the Nazis did not come to rule Europe, and because of the way she carried out her duties, the Soviets would not realize their aspirations to extend their brand of Communism to the world.”

The Green girls said Churchill “would attest that the prayers and spiritual principles he had absorbed from Elizabeth Everest were the anchor of His soul.”

Another new-to-me historical figure is Elizabeth of Hungary who’s in the chapter on the legacy of generosity. Elizabeth’s mother is who gave her such a strong faith.  She was born in 1207.  Her father was King Andrew II of Hungary.

She was highly influenced by Francis of Assisi who said,

Elizabeth married at age 14, having been betrothed to Prince Ludwig of Thuringia at the ripe age of 4! Amazingly, she “helped establish a monastery in Thuringia. She also used her dowry to found eastern Europe’s first orphanage.” Her story is full of intrigue you won’t want to miss.

You also don’t want to miss Jackie Green’s relation to Queen Elizabeth II!  This is in the chapter on the legacy of wisdom, Queen Elizabeth being our modern-day character. Other modern-day women we meet include fireball Christine Caine on the legacy of rescue, wise teacher Kay Arthur, and on loyalty, the one and only Ruth Bell Graham. (These are just 4 of the 12!)

We also learn that Marie Green “imparted her faith and values to David Green” (Jackie’s father-in-law) who then left his faith to his children, one being Steve, Jackie’s husband.  She adds, “There is nothing more important than to point a child toward their Heavenly Father and the redemption available through Christ.

You’ll learn how Hobby Lobby came to be as well as their thoughts on generosity, how they run the company, and even the details about the Supreme Court’s ruling over their health insurance, regarding their pro-life beliefs.  Your jaw will drop more than once over the details the Lord helped them overcome in an excruciatingly long trial, especially with such intense scrutiny from the media.

Also in the chapter on generosity Jackie discusses “the legacy-building power of a lifestyle of generosity.” We glean pearls from their family discussions.  She shares,

“A committee reviews and makes decisions on giving corporately,

…viewing each request through a specific lens

Will it advance God’s Word?

Will it save a person’s soul?”

We readers also get to learn about the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C., that the Greens started.  It’s a wild journey you won’t want to miss.  The Museum is at the top of my Bucket List. (www.museumofthebible.org )

Further details on the museum can be found in another book the Greens wrote called, This Dangerous Book:  How the Bible Has Shaped Our World and Why It Still Matters Today.

Of all the Biblical characters we meet and learn about in Only One Life,  my three favorites are:  Huldah the prophetess, Hannah, and Ruth (but then how could we leave out Mary the Mother of Jesus, and Esther, and the seven others??!!!).  The chapter on teaching stands out to me perhaps because I love to teach.

Huldah is introduced to us in 2 Kings, chapter 22, Mary Lyon, who started Mount Holyoke College is the historical heroine, choosing Psalm 144:12 to be the college’s motto:  “That our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace.” (KJV), and Kay Arthur is our modern-day teaching example, having started Precepts Ministries International with what the Greens call an “unlikely start.”

The legacies left from Huldah, Mary, and Kay are astonishing.  Don’t miss the details included.  Seeing their impact on countless souls makes you think in each case, “Wow, that is just from one woman!”  Exactly the point of the book.

Run, don’t walk to your nearest bookstore and grab Only One Life.  You’ll find yourself sharing story after story with your friends and family, and the best part is they’re all true!

‘Til next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments Off on Why We Must Consider the Legacy We’re Leaving… (With help from the Green girls of Hobby Lobby)

Filed under Book Reviews, Family, Grandchildren, Scripture